[HacktionLab] Smartphone privacy & domestic violence

Jim McTwanky mctwanky at riseup.net
Sun Sep 21 10:41:29 UTC 2014

Smartphones are a problem for people being stalked. To be safest it
would be worth going back to the old school Nokia jobbie. Then you know
that you're giving your location away to the state but not to any
spyware install on your device. Doing a factory reset may do the trick
or better still stick on a different ROM......but this may be beyond
most people.

If someone wants to avoid being stalked but wants to continue using
Facebook to be in contact with those closest to them then (to begin
with) a new profile with a convincing different name and
personality/behaviour is in order. Never use the Facebook app (but you
won't be as you'll be using a dumb phone, right?). As we've probably all
observed the Facebook app shows your location in chat. Whoever is being
stalked needs to change their passwords regularly as they may have been
exposed via key-loggers installed on their devices. Where ever 2-factor
authentication can be implemented, use it! Turn on the security features
of Facebook so you can see what locations and what devices have been
logging into your account. So, any dodgy logins can be observed.

Any computer in a shelter should be using a VPN. This should route all
traffic through an external server so that you'll appear to be coming
from there rather than your address. Clicking links and opening
attachments that have been sent to them from untrusted sources need to
be avoided.

There's loads of other stuff you'll need to be aware of but for a common
garden stalker, doing the basics should be enough.

On 20/09/14 20:31, bou wrote:
> The best advice that comes to mind to a non-techie victim of this kind
> is to ditch devices and get new ones. Or just ditch them.
> Yes, security  can be expensive.
> b.
> On 18/09/14 00:08, penguin wrote:
>> Reflecting on my previous message (below, because top posting rules),
>> would any people on this list be up for a project to develop some
>> practical guidance for organisations (and their clients) that work
>> with people who have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual abuse?
>> In my head, such guidance would be a marriage of three things ...
>> 1. A good tech understanding of the risks of this type of
>> cyberstalking,, and how to mitigate those risks.
>> 2. Being able to convey point 1 in, as far as is possible, a
>> non-techie way.
>> 3. Ensuring that both points 1 & 2 do not in any way come over as
>> victim blaming.
>> I can do a lot on points 2&3 (but would welcome others getting
>> involved as well). I'm far less confident on my abilities on point 1 -
>> which is a requirement to developing point 2.
>> Anybody interested in such a project?
>> Cheers
>> G
>> On 17/09/14 22:46, penguin wrote:
>>> Thought this was an interesting & new (to me) reason why online
>>> privacy is so important, and why people need to know how to
>>> control their privacy.
>>> Smartphones Are Used To Stalk, Control Domestic Abuse Victims
>> http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/09/15/346149979/smartphones-are-used-to-stalk-control-domestic-abuse-victims
>>>  Extracts ...
>>> You could call it Little Brother, though it's really more like
>>> husbands and wives, lovers and exes who secretly watch their
>>> partners — from a distance. They are cyberstalking — using digital
>>> tools that are a lot cheaper than hiring a private detective.
>>> We found a trend: 85 percent of the shelters we surveyed say
>>> they're working directly with victims whose abusers tracked them
>>> using GPS. Seventy-five percent say they're working with victims
>>> whose abusers eavesdropped on their conversation remotely — using
>>> hidden mobile apps. And nearly half the shelters we surveyed have a
>>> policy against using Facebook on premises, because they are
>>> concerned a stalker can pinpoint location.
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